New biotechnology companies flock to London’s first bioscience innovation centre
LBIC currently provides 21st century laboratory and office facilities for more than 23 biotechnology and diagnostic companies, life science product and service providers, venture investors and small pharmaceutical companies. The two new clients that have recently moved to LBIC are Bridge Genoma and Domainex.
‘LBIC’s emphasis on quality makes us stand out from the crowd and an atmosphere of collegiality underpins everything we do,’ said Professor Colin Howard Vice-Principal, for the Royal Veterinary College and CEO, The London Bioscience Innovation Centre. ‘We are keen to ensure that new client companies are a good ‘fit’ with the philosophy of LBIC, whether they are biotechnology companies, or associated service organisations.’
Bridge Genoma is a private genetic testing lab specialising in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Using the latest technology any known genetic defect can be identified by ‘fingerprinting’ that region of the DNA which may carry the mutation causing the disease. More than 10,000 conditions are known and include such diseases as Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Huntingdon disease, Batten disease, Haemophilia A and Sickle Cell Disease.
By Bridge Genoma co-operating with other clinics patients can have this resource made available to them regardless of where they live in the UK. The IVF treatment can take place at a clinic anywhere in the UK and the cell can be sent down for testing – without the parent needing to travel. Currently around half a dozen clinics work with Bridge Genoma from all around the UK including Liverpool, Oxford and London.
‘Until now clinics have had to send samples abroad, which isn’t ideal when you only have a one or two day window at most to carry out the tests.’ Said Professor Alan Handyside, Director, Bridge Genoma. ‘LBIC also offered us good security, health and safety provision, and great facilities. As well as being a great place to network with other scientists, LBIC also offers us facilities that are impressive to our peers and clients.’
Domainex are a spin-out company from The Institute of Cancer Research, Birkbeck , and University College that first set up in 2002. Domainex has created a system that allows the structure of difficult proteins, to be unlocked this is an essential part needed in the process of developing new drugs. Domainex’s system means that pharmaceutical companies can work much faster in drug research and address novel medical targets.
Domainex moved to LBIC in November 2006 and is anticipating further growth in business now that it is based there. Domainex list one of LBIC’s primary benefits is its central location.
Keith Powell, CEO of Domainex, said, ‘The very flexible facilities and availability of meeting rooms for client visits are enormously helpful to young companies which seek to minimize overhead and focus resources on the development of the business. Moving out of the academic environment is an essential part of a growing spin-out, we see the LBIC relationship as a partnership where both sides gain’.
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